PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — Police arrested demonstrators they say made their way onto the parade route at the 2015 Rose Parade Thursday.
Protesters held signs in remembrance of Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old black man fatally shot by police in August, raising tensions between the Los Angeles Police Department and community activists who believe Ford was unfairly targeted.READ MORE: Ancient Cuneiform Stone Tablet, Rare Old Babylonian Prism Returned To Republic Of Iraq
Police said those arrested were disrupting the parade and had been repeatedly warned to return to the sidewalk.
Four were arrested for violating city ordinances, police said.
One man spoke to CBS2/KCAL9’s Greg Mills as he was being taken away in handcuffs by officers, insisting he did not know why he was being arrested.
“Everyone was on the street. Everyone was in the middle of the intersection just standing there so I thought… it was over. And then all of a sudden they come out asking, ‘Hey you guys need to come with me, you’re under arrest,'” he said.
Protesters say the death of Ford, whose family says he was mentally challenged, as well as the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, points to a national problem of police brutality against minorities.
Thursday’s march, which included references to other recent officer-involved shootings, followed three days after the LAPD lifted an administrative hold on Ford’s autopsy report.READ MORE: 14-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot In Pasadena; Suspect Alexis Ibarra Charged With Murder
The department said Ford, who was unarmed, was shot after he struggled with officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas and went for one of their guns.
The report found he was shot three times on his right side. Two of the wounds were fatal.
Ford family attorney Steven Lerman called the shooting “an unprovoked assault.”
Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a press conference Monday the autopsy report was consistent with statements given by the officers involved, however.
An investigation into the shooting investigation is ongoing.
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